Anissa Jackson scored 16 points to lead Delta State to a 73-43 women's basketball victory over West Alabama in the first round of the 2014 Raymond James Gulf South Conference Basketball Tournament Thursday at the Pete Hannah Center.
The win improves Delta State, the top seed in the tournament, to 23-4. West Alabama ends its season at 5-22.
Jackson came off the Lady Statesmen bench to convert 8-of-8 field goal attempts as Delta State shot a sizzling 59 percent from the floor (31-of-52) while holding UWA to 30 percent (15-of-49). DSU limited West Alabama to just four field goals in the first 16:23 of the second half.
"Our plan was to try to keep it close in the first half, keep battling and maybe have a shot by the third media timeout in the second half," UWA head coach Craig Roden said. "We started slow, but were able to get it down to 10 points right before the half, but took a bad shot with a chance to cut it to eight."
Delta State led 33-23 at halftime, but the Lady Statesmen put together a 23-13 run in the first 8:28 of the second half to effectively take the wind out of the West Alabama sails. With 7:33 left to play, the Lady Statesmen were shooting 61 percent from the floor, 70 percent (12-for-17) in the second half.
"They solved our zone in the second half," Roden said. "Our slides were not as good as the game went on and they started getting good looks from 12-to-15 feet, which isn't exactly what you need when you play a zone."
Delta State outscored UWA 36-14 in the paint, 20-0 on fast break points and 31-8 in points off turnovers. DSU outrebounded UWA 31-25.
GSC Player of the Year Seneca Walton followed Jackson's effort with 12 points. Chadisty Hickman scored 10 to round out double figure scoring for DSU.
Playing in her final game at UWA, Quentinette Odom led Tiger scorers with nine points. Jada Williams had six rebounds for UWA.
"'Q' (Odom) had an excellent year for us. It was her time to step up and she did, averaging just under 12 points and over seven rebounds a game," Roden said. "This whole team never stopped battling all year. There are a lot of teams out there with better records than ours who would have already thrown in the towel a long time ago, but not these kids."